As a society, we often put on a face. We are told to be happy and constantly telling ourselves ” happy”. We’re thrown millions of advertisements and messages trying to tells us we need happiness.
Yes, that’s great, we are deserving of happiness BUT to get there we need to understand all of our feelings … not just the happy ones.
The moment we are not happy and start to experience these “bad” feelings we start to convince ourselves that we need to be happy. We try to remove ourselves from the sad and try being happy.
I’m going to tell you the opposite. Be sad. Let yourself BE SAD . It sounds counterintuitive but hear me out. Those moments of sadness let you feel, they let you process and then heal and not bottling it all up trying being happy and letting it just slowly shake-up.
It starts to fester and each suppression is just like an added shake to a can of soda until ….. it explodes one day. And you have No idea why. That last shake sets it off and threshold takes over.
But what the hell do I know, so I’m going to be real and share my experience because this is what happened to me and how I’m learning it’s important to validate my feelings before I end up blowing up and snapping and reaching the point of irrational.
My name is literally JOY. I am almost always smiling around people. I’ve dealt with depression for as long as I could remember Most of the time with the deepest bouts of it being during seasonal changes and triggers that I’m still trying to decipher. However, I learned growing up that NO ONE wants to deal with a sad person, in my attempts to try to reach out for help people would tell me
“Just be happy!”
Wow! Life changing, how did I not think of that?! (She says with the most New Yorker sarcasm). So I acted happy and learned to adapt and survive being a high functioning depressed person until one day….. I snapped.
The smallest thing set me off….. I lost my eyeliner. NOW if you know any latina, you know EYELINER IS LIFE. That wing gives us strength, power, and confidence and I almost my liner. I starred at my self in the work bathroom mirror and began to cry, I realized how completely irrational it was to cry over this stupid eyeliner.
But that was my last straw, the last sad drop that overflowed my bucket of sadness piling up after 23 years. I realized now that was the one thing I could control in my life and had slowly felt it slipping away, that my eyeliner being missing meant I could not put on that armor to face the world. At this time I had begun my career in tech and as a latina women I had to face the reality that no matter the years of experience I had being in male circles, navigating being the token in STEM, I would have to start from the bottom yet again and prove I belong there.
I was also tired, the years of holding it all in smiling and just pretending like everything was okay came tumbling down. The years of dealing with poverty, assimilation, and denying my culture in order for survival piled on at once. That uncomfortable gut feeling that I couldn’t put a name on when confronted with micro-aggressions while I just smiled and excused those who upheld white supremacy just came down like an avalanche.
I had spent years not allowing myself to get mad sad or even accept it was depression. I let every little moment of negative feeling and tried to cover it up with a positive feeling. That it all finally led to a snap where I was pushed into so much chronic pain, depression, and rage.
I’ve had these moments happen again since they’re smaller now because now when I’m sad, mad, and angry I try to analyze and ask myself the following
- why am I feeling upset/angry?
- What is the core source of this feeling?
- My feelings are valid, but is this rational?
- Is there a solution I can do after I process? or Do I need professional help?
IE: back to the eyeliner case applying the questions above
- I am feeling upset because I lost my eyeliner
- I feel like I lost a grip on things I can control
- Yes, it’s valid and upsetting but is crying over a really the rational reaction to losing an eyeliner.
- Yes, I can be upset cause yo, lost makeup is sad BUT it is just material and I can replace it. However, I am realizing this might be something deeper at play that I may need to speak to a professional about.
Example 2: A fuckboy stopped calling me and I’m ghosted
- I am sad because I this douche stopped calling me and I was smitten
- The core source is the feeling of rejection. It hurts and knowing I’ve been rejected
- My feelings are valid and this is rational because rejection hurts and you are allowed to be upset over this.
- A solution is “key his car!!!! Bwahahaha ” just kidding. If I actually did that I might need some professional help with anger issues …. however I can not control others feelings but I can control how I react and I can choose who deserves my time and energy. If this fuckboy cannot see how freaking amazing you are he doesn’t deserve you, he doesn’t deserve to make you upset and will never deserve your smile. Solution – BLOCK HIS ASS! Then delete that number from your phone, cloud, hidden in your notes, delete that screenshot and do not text your friend and then alter BEG her to give it to you. DO NOT DO IT GIRL!
Do you need professional help in dealing with your mental health? Probably, I am a huge advocate of therapy and learning to cope with your own behaviors and to grow as a person in healthy ways.
Overall learning to embrace our own feelings the positive and negative of life because only then can we find fill balance and be able to take life head-on.
Was this somewhat helpful for you?
PS: I’m trying to start each day with an affirmation to handle summer seasonal depression and control my irritability by focusing on validating and reinforcing messages. Today I’m sharing this you can follow along on my Instagram stories for morning affirmation.
Feel free to pin me for later or save the image for a little reminder on your phone ❤️